Monday, December 4, 2006

GAP Week 5 Power Rankings

Week 5 Power Rankings
Great American Pastime
Monday December 4th
Season 2

An exciting week here in the Great American Pastime World. We have a new #1 for the first time in weeks, and some streaking teams in both directions, providing what should make for one interesting 2nd half of the season.

1. Oakland A's (55-28) LW (2)
The reigning GAP champs get the edge over the streaking Indians even though their record is one game worse. Their 15 game win streak just came to an end (dexoo, can't you just see another one starting right back up?). This is one dreaded lineup. C.C. Hutton exploded this week, and his numbers are starting to look more like the "out of this world" numbers we saw last season. Through 70 games, he is hitting .307 with 34 HRs and 84 RBI.

2. Cleveland Indians (56-27) LW (3)
If it weren't for the A's, this team would be a no brainer at the #1 spot. They just finished an 8 game win streak, and followed that one loss with a couple of convincing wins (albeit over the Mounties). The Indians are proving themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the AL, with Latroy Franco leading the way. Hutton better watch out, as Franco's #s are frighteningly similar (.307/26/92). The only problem I can see in this teams future is a drop off in the drive department, as they already hold a 20 game lead in the AL East.

3. San Francisco Giants (53-30) LW (6)
The Giants are out to prove to the AL that the NL is not going to take it lying down. They are only 5-5 after a 14 game win streak, but still hold a commanding 10 game lead in the NL West. Clarence Cooke and Albert Young are holding the staff together. Cooke is 11-4 with an ERA of 2.82, while Young has converted 17 of 18 save opportunities.

4. Seattle Mariners (52-31) LW (1)
A steep fall this week for the team who had held the #1 spot for so long. It's not like the Mariners are playing poorly, they just happen to be in the same division as the A's. It may be too early to say, but it looks like the AL West has changed guard this week, and the M's know it. Frustration is starting to take effect, as "oh shut it train"s are heard resonating in Safeco Field. The bright spot? Brandon Freeman is 11-2 and Harry Wilfredo owns a 2.99 ERA.

5. Milwaukee Brewers (50-33) LW (4)
The NL North is going to be a dogfight all year long, but if talent proves victorious, the Brewers should come out on top. Reigning MVP Carlos Campos has "struggled" to a .299 AVG and 26 HRs already. But in this writer's opinion, success lies in the right hand of Jeffrey Banks. Banks is 13 of 14 in SVO, and sports an amazing 0.47 ERA and a WHIP of only 0.78! Critics last year called for his retirement, but Banks has responded in the most impressive of fashions.

6. New York Mets (51-32) LW (8)
The epitome of "small-ball", the Mets have been on a tear lately. The pitching staff has been mentioned every week, but it's time for some of the unsung heroes to be noticed. Nipsey Morris is batting .359, and with a little more of an opportunity, could prove to be the best leadoff man in the business. Oh, and Jeff Cuyler and Ted Hogan are starting to heat up. Watch out for the Mets, because they won't give up more than a couple runs a game, and now that they're hitting, they're gonna be hard to stop.

7. Atlanta Braves (51-32) LW (7)
The Braves fell behind the Mets this week, even though for the 2nd week in a row, they've had the exact same record. They seemed to have leveled off a bit after an impressive turnaround in the past couple weeks. Still, this team has the potential for greatness, with sluggers Joe Linden and Mark Moore leading the charge. Linden has been very impressive in not only hitting 17 dingers, but hitting .314, swiping nearly 30 bases, and scoring 70 runs.

8. Kansas City Royals (48-35) LW (10)
What is there to say about Jose Mota? The man's a beast! He is 2nd in the majors with 92 RBI to add to 25 HRs and 72 runs scored. His protection isn't too shabby either. There are 6 players on the team with 55+ RBI, and all 6 have over 93 hits. Even the pitchers are starting to put it together, as Tony Hudler has 8 CGs and owns a record of 12-5. If the rest of the staff adds things up and starts playing to their potential, this could be a 100 win team in the making.

9. Florida Marlins (45-38) LW (9)
They may not score many runs, and they may not win pretty, but what the Marlins know how to do is simply win baseball games. The unsung hero on this team has to be Tomas Prieto. Only given 7 SVO, he has converted 6, and is holding opponents to an average a shade over .200. Given an extended opportunity to close games is all he has needed to prove he belongs with the big boys.

10. Chicago Cubs (45-38) LW (NR)
Okay, so I had alot of teams to choose from for the 10th spot this week, and in the end, it came down to the Rangers or the Cubs. This writer may be a little biased, but the Cubs have done alot to prove themselves as contenders after narrowly missing the playoffs in season 1. Yesterday, Larry Charlton sent a message to the NL that he has arrived, smacking 2 HRs and driving in 6 in his first game as a Cub. But the men holding it together this year have to be Victor Parra and Jerry Boudreau. Respectively hitting .336/29/74 and .290/21/79, these two men have sparked an offense that is making up for a dissapointing performance from the pitching staff. Especially reigning ROY Travis Seabol, who is 4-10 with a disgusting ERA of 5.55 and a WHIP of 1.67.

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